Why did Shakespeare call this play "Julius Caesar"?

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dwashburn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The actual title of the play is, the Tragedy of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare and the play's focus in on one of the most influential people on Rome. Shakespeare lived to tell about the reality of Caesar'a death, which included themes of love, betrayal, jealousy, fate, free will, etc.. A playwright would be a fool not to take advantage of this story. 

Additionally, the whole first half of the play involves the plotting and indecisiveness of assassinating Caesar. The second half of the play focuses on the aftermath of his tragic death. He reappears to Brutus to remind him that his legacy will live on informing him that he will see him on the battlefield at Phillipi. It is a great interpretation of Caesar's tragic death. 

parama9000 | Student

Julius Caesar was the fundamental reason behind the whole plot, that is to stop Caesar before he becomes a dictator and lose the ideals of Rome as a republic.

rachellopez | Student

Even though Julius Caesar was not the main character, he did have an important role in the play. The play was based on true events about Roman history and the Roman dictator Julius Caesar who was born in 100 BC. His character in the play is significant in developing the theme of friendship/betrayal and without him and his actions through out the play the plot and themes would not have developed.

kath555554444 | Student

Shakespeare called his play "Julius Caesar" because others also say that his spirit lives throughout the story. He was killed in around Act 3 but some called him out. For example, Brutus calls him out, saying "Thy spirit walks abroad and turns our swords.

Some readers also may say it's about the public tragedy of Rome that rotates around Caesar. 

notch | Student

The character who gives the play it’s title appears in only three scenes, and speaks very few line-none of them particularly memorable.But Shakespeare still gives the play the title Julius Caesar because as Shakespeare wrote the play during Queen Elizabeth1 reign and as she did not marry and did not have heir who would rule England after her death so the play reflected the general anxiety of England over succession of leadership and portrayed that her death could lead to a civil war similar to that of Rome. So there was a comparison shown between the two rulers. So giving the play the title anything besides Julius Caesar would have made Shakespeare’s main objective kind of obscure.  And Shakespeare gave this title to attract audiences to the theatre.

Also because Caesar is the person who gives a full structure to the play. Because of Caesar’s character the other character’s personalities are unveiled to the readers like how the characters react towards Caesar tell us about their individual personalities.

namratamadan | Student

I feel that the title is apt. Although Caesar does not appear in many of the scenes and dies mid-way during the story, the rest of the story is based on his assassination, the analyses of the reasons for his assassination, and the popular struggle that arose due to his assassination.If not Julius Caesar, the play could have been entitled as "The Assassination", "The Emperor of Rome","Caesar's Assassination", etc. but it would have not had such a great impact on the reader, nor would it have been able to glue the reader to the story. 

revolution | Student

 Julius Caesar was not even the main protaganist in this whole story, but he was the main name for the title. He was also killed midway in the story by a group of conspirators and Shakespere also did not put in any wonderful or eye-appealing statements about him, so naming the title "Julius Caesar" sounds misleading and a bit wrong.

brie4211 | Student

Even though Julius Caesar is not the main character in this play, his initial victory and general popularity serve as the impetus for the play's action. Were it not for Caesar's impending rise to power, we would never learn about Brutus' conflicted allegiance or Cassius' targeted manipulation. Caesar is an appropriate title because it serves to constantly remind the audience of the vital role he played.

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Julius Caesar

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